Posted by: CeCe | July 5, 2012

Out of the shadows

For the last two weeks, I’ve been doing something that has been very difficult, and as a result, many other parts of my life have begun to suffer.  I’ve hinted that I’ve begun a journey to a healthier me, and that has taken a lot out of me mentally, because a lot of the reasons for why I am the way I am now are due to things that happened when I was a child.  I want to address one of them directly, partly because it’s contributed to who I am in such a large way, and also because I’m sick and tired of having to whisper what happened, as though I have something of which I need to be ashamed.

I’ve already admitted before that I was sexually abused as a child.  What I haven’t gone into is what happened and who it was, and how it’s affected me.  The story starts when I was very young and my grandparents died.  Keep in mind, my dad’s parents died before I was born, and my mom’s parents died not long after (grandpa died when I was 14 months old, grandma died a few days after my 3rd birthday), so I grew up without grandparents.  It didn’t really bother me too much, apart from missing my grandma and grandpa, until we moved to South Carolina, and suddenly I realized that most kids still had their grandparents.  So I adopted a couple at my family’s church as my grandparents.  I’ll call them Mr. and Mrs. M.  They were an elderly couple and so I thought they were perfect.  I was only 5 1/2 when we moved to South Carolina, and I was still pretty innocent in spite of my family’s losses.

I don’t know exactly when Mr. M started abusing me, but I have the feeling it started before my 6th birthday, because that’s around the time that I stopped wanting to wear dresses.  I kept wanting to wear pants to church, and I know now that it’s probably because Mr. M had easier access when I was wearing dresses.  I knew that the way he touched me made me uncomfortable, but no one had ever told me that there were monsters out there who were all too eager to snatch someone’s innocence from them in the worst way imaginable.  And he had me convinced for a long time that the way he touched me was normal, and that he couldn’t help himself because I was “so beautiful”.

This was also around the time that I began developing a weight problem.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so.  I think in my childlike mind, I was thinking that if I was less attractive, he would no longer want me.  I knew somehow that it was wrong, but I was convinced that it was me that was wrong, not him.

I don’t think anyone at the time really knew what was going on.  My mom was busy taking care of my dad, my dad was dying, and my siblings were all older and involved with their own lives.  I think the kids at church may have had an idea, but they were kids and didn’t know how to react.  I almost admitted it at one point, when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade and a guest speaker came to our class to talk about “bad touching”, but couldn’t bring myself to do it, because I was so afraid of hurting Mr. M and because I was afraid of what would happen to my dad.  His health was so poor at that point, and the threat of him having another heart attack was always hanging over our heads.  I couldn’t have handled the thought of causing his health to decline even faster; I bear enough guilt as it is.

I’ve been so ashamed to admit what happened.  I’ve been given the impression by some that it’s shameful, that it’s a dark secret I ought to hide away from all but those who are closest to me.  And for many years, that’s how it’s been; I didn’t disclose all the details until Mr. M had been dead for several years.  What I want to say next is difficult, so please forgive me if it’s a bit awkward or harsh, but the fact of the matter is, this attitude towards child molestation gives cover to those who would victimize a child in such a way.  Many people who are molested who go on to admit it are told that it’s “too much information” to give freely to anyone, that it’s “personal”, that it should be a secret.  Why should it be?  I did nothing wrong.  I was an innocent child who was preyed upon by someone I should have been able to trust.  I didn’t consent to it.  I wasn’t able to consent.  Instead, the damage that he did to my mind and my body were forced on me.  Why should I be silent?  See, when we force victims of sexual abuse into the shadows, that allows the predators to also stay in the shadows.  Think about it:  When we say to a victim of sexual abuse that they should keep it quiet, that not everyone needs to know, we are putting the power in the hands of the predator.  If their victims are told to remain silent, they can go on and choose more and more victims.

Now pardon my language here, but I say drag those bastards into the light.  Let the world see them for what they are.  Let the world see what they do to those they choose to victimize.

Yes, I was a victim of sexual abuse.  No, I am not ashamed, because I did nothing wrong.  Yes, what happened to me has affected every facet of my life, from how I view myself, how I view sexuality, the way I react to intimacy, the care I take of myself, to my darkest and deepest fears and my mental and emotional state.  I’m learning to deal with it, but in the meantime, I absolutely will not be silent about what happened to me.  And if you think I should be, then keep in mind what I said above, about allowing predators to stay in the shadows.

I’m out of the shadows now, stepping into the light.  And I’m not ashamed.


  1. Sending some hugzz to you CeCe!! ((((((((CeCe))))))))

    • Aww thanks (((((((((Garry)))))))))

  2. I think it’s worse than keeping them in the shadows. Silence keeps the predators free and in the open where others trust them and keeps only their danger hidden. Thank you for speaking out. ((((CeCe))))

    • Thank *you*! *hugs*

  3. I was too. And for 25 years I didn’t tell anyone. Even now… its too hard to tell the people closest to me.

    • I can imagine that it is hard. People still react very badly to sexual abuse.

  4. You’re right, you did nothing wrong and have nothing to be ashamed of. Too often ALL of the blame is shifted to the survivor instead of the real perpetrators. Very honorable and insightful to share such a story…keep on going strong! 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Christina. 🙂

  5. CeCe, As a fellow survivor of Sexual Abuse, your story mirrors my own in so many ways. The person who did this, is now dead, and I was able to forgive the person at their funeral. But, weight and sexual abuse seems to have a correlation, for the very reason you described. One person I know faced a huge problem with weight gain and also was abused. Her counselor stated there is a huge statistic of women who were abused as a child and struggle with weight as an adult. And, what you stated definitely may be a factor.

    CeCe as an older person who has faced this issue, let me tell you that when I was your age, I went through years of therapy over the abuse. Eventually, I was able to accept that it happened, and there was nothing I could do to change what was in my past. But, I discovered, that I can change how I feel about it now, and change my perspective of my thoughts towards the person. I share this, to let you know there is hope that things will become easier in the future. Hugs to you CECE, you deserved better, and so did I.

    • Thank you so much for your kind, wonderful comment, Joye, I really appreciate it. I’m sorry that you had to experience abuse as well. 😦

      *hugs* to you!

  6. CeCe, You said it all. I was also a victim of sexual abuse and I did not tell anyone until 3 years when I found out that I was not the only victim in the family. I made a huge mistake, not to tell, that caused damage to the lives of more people. My abuser is still on the loose because he is protected by the statute of limitations. Recently I started a petition asking to change the law so that the statute of limitations won’t be applied to the sex offenders. I am asking you all to please support me in this. Please visite my blog and sign my petition. I need as many signatures as posible.
    With your permission, I would like to upload this post in my blog if it’s is O.K with you?

    • No problem at all! I’ll be glad to visit your blog and sign the petition. I’m so sorry that happened to you; I hope you don’t blame yourself for not telling anyone. It isn’t your fault.

      • Thanks Cece for your supports.

  7. […] a member of the church we attended in South Carolina molested me.  I’ve talked about this before, but reading this article brought it all back to me.  I remembered that at the Sunday evening […]

  8. […] had this blog, I’ve written several times about when I was sexually assaulted and when I was molested as a child.  I’ve been thinking a lot about the effect that both of them had on me, such as my views on […]

  9. […] idea what it was.  In fact, I didn’t even know what rape was, or even sex for that matter.  I’ve written before that I was assaulted by a family friend when I was a child.  I don’t know when it started, but I do know that I couldn’t have been any older than […]

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